Bystander effect, the inhibiting influence of the presence of others on a person’s willingness to help someone in need. Research has shown that, even in an emergency, a bystander is less likely to extend help when he or she is in the real or imagined presence of others than when he or she is alone. Moreover, the number of others is important, such that more bystanders leads to less assistance, although the impact of each additional bystander has a diminishing impact on helping. Investigations of the bystander effect in the 1960s and ’70s sparked a wealth of research on helping behaviour, which has expanded beyond emergency situations to include everyday forms of helping. By illuminating the power of situations to affect individuals’ perceptions, decisions, and behaviour, study of the bystander effect continues to influence the course of social psychological theory and research. Bystander intervention Get exclusive access to content from our 1768 First Edition with your subscription.
Related: The Bystander Effect - to help or not to help?
• The Bystander Effect
• How to Counteract: Bystander Effect
• What is the Bystander Effect? How do we prevent it?
• An introduction to Bystander effect: Consequences and ways to overcome